Tag Archives: USA

The FBI Snooze button

Don’t you just love your snooze button? I do, there are these moments that I have to be up at 07:01, but not always, and the idea of the snooze button that I remain under the warm blankets just a little longer in a half awake and half not stage is pretty addictive, intoxicatingly addictive. I reckon that there are loads of people who feel that way, even the FBI, even though one could argue that their snooze button is set to an annual option.

To see this we need to take a look at the Law and Crime site (at https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/anonymous-individuals-fight-possible-unsealing-of-details-related-to-alleged-epstein-sex-ring/) where we see on March 20th 2019 the following “The Second Circuit Court of Appeals is deciding whether or not to unseal documents from a lawsuit against a woman accused of running a sex trafficking ring with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Judges had given parties 15 days to argue why documents in a lawsuit brought against Epstein’s former partner Ghislaine Maxwell should not be unsealed.”, you know what, it might be longer than an annual snooze. The court records indicate that the FBI could have done a hell of a lot more to do something about the Maxwell factor in paedophelia. The BBC reported (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53268218) that she was arrested with ‘Jeffrey Epstein ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell arrested by FBI’, yet the setting does not match up, I had initial questions when I saw the affidavit in January 2015 and that was 9 years later. OK, I will say now there was no link to Ghislaine Maxwell at that point, yet the stage seemed delimited. You see the affidavit shows on pages 16 and 17 6 censured names, we cannot see the names, but if you consider the affidavit, the stage was larger, and that size was already visible in 2006, almost 14 years ago, so why did it take the FBI that long to get any traction? And let’s face it, it did not happen until AFTER Epstein allegedly committed suicide. And the affidavit describes events from almost a year before that date, the issue was larger!

Now that Maxwell has been arrested, the question is not what will she get, the question becomes who else is part of all this and what remains hidden as such, because the events that are criminal and part of sealed court documents whilst others remain untouched is as I see it a new low in American jurisprudence. There is actually a lot more in the BBC article. We see “Prosecutors allege that between 1994 and 1997 Ms Maxwell helped Epstein groom girls as young as 14. The charges say she would build a rapport with them – including by taking them shopping or to the movies – and would later coax them into giving Epstein massages during which they were sexually abused.” Yet when we see the timeline we see that optionally these girls who were still in high school, some would have been exposed to Ghislaine Maxwell and there is no clear trail how. If we look at it from a distance, grooming requires identifying, prepping the stage where they will have a conversation with an unknown person like Ghislaine Maxwell, and that is after you realise that this had been going on since 1994, 26 years is a long time to create a clientele, so there is every chance that she was not merely setting the stage for Epstein. If we consider the stage of Ghislaine Maxwell, a socialite, we need to consider the stage. A socialite is (according to the dictionary “a person who is well known in fashionable society and is fond of social activities and entertainment”, it is a title that also limits her activities, one failure and she is exposed. As such we ca argue that she had a system, a system with co-conspirators. And let’s face it, how often do you see a socialite scouring high school? Especially when the socialite is well over 50 (OK, she was half her age in those days). The stage does not match the activities, she had serious help, I see no other way there.

Even if we casually dismiss “claimed that Maxwell recruited her to be a “masseuse” for Epstein when she worked at Mar-a-Lago, the Florida club owned by President Donald Trump.” We see places (one that former president Clinton visited), a stage where security is a lot larger then normal, as such others wee in the know, camera’s that would have set the stage where people too young to be allowed were let in, the stage does not add up, when you start reading the affidavits, the documents and the connected briefs, there is a much larger stage to be seen. Do you think that a place like the Mar-a-Lago gets by with below par security? Several people avoided the boat with “In return, prosecutors declined to bring federal charges.” It was not about Epstein, in that phase a lot more would be brought to light, I have absolutely zero doubt about that. That part is partially visible when we consider “The agreement, which was offered by prosecutors working under then-federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta (President Trump’s current U.S. Labor Secretary), was made without informing any of the alleged victims in the case.” In addition, we see several people now in a stage where they are at the top of the legal profession, among them Kenneth Star and Alexander Acosta. So when we see “The appellate court ruled that the district court “failed to conduct the requisite particularized review when ordering the sealing of the materials at issue.” So what else did the district court fail to conduct?

And this has been out and about for close to a decade, so do we like the FBI snooze button at present? The fact that in all this federal players were left in the dark seems completely impossible to me, as such we need to include that there is every chance that Ghislaine Maxwell is part of something much larger, involving other players too, this is not the stage of a socialite, this is the optional stage of a facilitator. If this deviant behaviour is possible in 6% of the clergy, how many rich people would optionally be driven by similar illegal needs? If we accept that there are a little over 5 million multimillionaires in the USA, the 6% mark hands us that Ghislaine Maxwell might have had access to (or being sought by) up to 300,000 very wealthy people requiring her services. Now let’s be fair, they do not all know Ghislaine Maxwell, but see might and that makes this issue a lot larger than we previously considered. And it brings forth the issue of the FBI snooze button, perhaps I am wrong and they were very awake, and it took this long to get a group of people subpoenaed, but consider what I stated and the evidence as it was out and about, and in the media no less.

How many looked away whilst some of this was happening under their very noses?

 

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Shame of choice?

I have been around for some time. In this time I have always accepted the choices I have made, and for the most, I have had one regret, that was around 2001, it was a choice and I accept responsibility for the choice I mader, I might not be happy about it, but that is life. In that frame of mind I am or the most a Republican, I believe in Republican standards, yet until January 2019 I had never expected to be ashamed of that. The entire Huawei situation and as the Guardian reported 6 hours ago, ‘US blocks vote on UN’s bid for global ceasefire over reference to WHO’, the idea that the Trump administration opposes mention of the WHO must be one of the most fucked up situations that ANY commander in chief of the US in the history of that nation has set up. The stage is even more diluted when we see “Donald Trump has blamed the WHO for the pandemic, claiming (without any supporting evidence) that it withheld information in the early days of the outbreak.” In all honesty, from that pointof view, when people are THAT stupid, I will had all my IP to Huawei (hoping that they will pay me) there is no chance that there can be any hope for the US in a stage where Trump is president. The man gives rise to chimps being more intelligent than people. To give further notice, I grew up seeing and accepting that Russia was the great evil in the 70’s and 80’s, I was in the mistaken understanding that the US was the bastion of actual freedom, how wrong can a man be?

When the elections were held, it was my opinion that Clinton was the wrong choice, her bungling of the entire Benghazi situation, in light of all the spin and misdirection was reason enough. If she could not get that right, seeing her in charge of the US was in my personal view a massive mistake. I had no idea that the baboon chosen would be even worse.

And the American people are about to find out why. The economic disaster that the US now faces is estimated to outdo the Depression that preceded WW2. 

In all this, I expect that Google, Apple, IBM and Microsoft will see a massive brain drain towards Europe and Asia. I personally expected my IP to be valued no less than $2 billion, yet I personally do not see the stage where the US will honour anything, as such and to protect my IP (which is based on new 5G principles) I have no option but to offer it to Huawei and hope for the best. Even if I end up with nothing, I will set in motion gears (already done) that will push it all to the public domain. Even as that leaves me with nothing, it will be evidence that I was right all along, which will boost my ego and place me on the high moral ground, merely for the view it gives me, above the presenters, the bullet point people and the proclaimers towards their own bonus, their own needs, not the corporate needs. 

I always saw myself as a Republican because personal freedom is where it is at, not the constrictive laws that binds all together behind a fence of rules, less laws and more freedom, yet that freedom comes with personal responsibility, I never doubted or opposed that. I wonder how people will react when the works of Stephen Moore, the one economist that supports the Republican plan reacts when the flaws get out into the open and he is asked critical questions. What do you do when people set the election of a president above the value of human lives? The quote “If we don’t get the economy reopened, we go into november with a severe depression, then you’re looking probably at President Joe Biden”, yet the stage of how many will die as a feigned economy will reopen, one that has an additional $3,000,000,000,000 debt. Bloomberg did not go deeper into that part, yet the question is out there “Why was this not investigated?” Lets not forget that this is the same Moore who set the 2012 taxcut exploding the budget without producing an economic boom (source: NY Times), so where is the evidence this time and in support of that, what are the speculated death numbers? We know that the, so-called expected 1.8% mortality rate that President Trump stated months ago was a joke and he made the claim in a time when it was already well over twice as large. That beside the point of a lacking “intellectual gravitas” as some stated. The NY Times article is still an important read. He makes statements on pandemic culling that sets the stage that precautions like New York are not needed in Lincoln, Des Moines or Boise. That is as I see it the first flaw. If the US had shut its borders a lot sooner, there might have been a small gesture of hope, but that was not done. The interview gives off the noise of ‘lets not set all urban areas the same’ yet the flu will get to any stage where people are together, that is the premise and I am not a health expert either. We see at present that 1/3rd of all infected in the world are in the US. Almost one in three of all global deaths are in the US as well. Those are directly seen numbers and there is every indication that a lot of the numbers of those passing away of the Coronavirus are not showing up, so the numbers might be higher. It amounts to the entire population of Lakewood City California. Not really an urban place is it, but that is the size of the issue and I expect that the station of care includes Lakewood City, not excluding it. 

Numbers are easy to misdirect, lives less so. I understand (not completely agreeing) with Stephen Moore, yet opening as soon as possible will set a much larger stage as the US enters Christmas, and the outgoing president should consider the legacy he is about to leave the US, the outbreak might not be his fault, but the consequences of his actions are and as such I am horrified that they were made by a Republican. 

Even my own reaction, the fact that my chances are much better turning to the Chinese than the Americans is still a debate my two guardian angels are having on my shoulders (the good one on the right shoulder the other one on the left. It is leaving me rather unhappy. It is like listening to the book of Good Omens on a daily basis, unnerving to say the least.

Yet I also accept that there is a larger group of people that sets the accusation that the WHO cannot handle the pandemic. Yet it is also a stage where the US and UK largely disregarded the warnings, I saw the pandemic coming close to two weeks before the media accepted it, even as the the dictionary version of pandemic was surpassed days before I stated it, the media did not follow and questioned this part for the longest time, yet we are not looking at that, are we?

There is a much larger stage that the media is ignoring, but we let that slip, the entire issue is now on the US blocking a UN vote as it indirectly makes mention of the WHO, I wonder if the elected US official is 5 years old (a speculative assumption on my side). There are larger fish to fry, but at present we need to be asking more and more questions of the Republican political base and most media outlets are not doing that and we need to see and wonder why that is. As I see it, there is within me, a much larger fight going on. I feel ashamed for being a Republican, I wonder if I have been wrong on that choice for a much longer time, and it worries me.

It is an internal fight I never had before and that too worries me. 

 

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What is the good place?

It’s Sunday, I am currently watching the original Planet of the Apes, it is one way to pass the time, just watch an actual classic. I have had an interesting day. With my mind on creativity, the series ‘the Good Place’ inspired me to a different miniseries. Consider a simple inventor, the man is a Civil Engineer, and he comes up with the bright notion of inventing a different kind of heavy metal filter, a way that is based on centrifugation. It is a simple yet novel idea, and he submits the idea and registers the patent. It is not a week later when he is suddenly invited for a meeting with an ‘interested party’, when he gets there he sees that the ‘interested parties’ involve a politician and a former employer. Before he knows what is happening, his patent is under attack, the politician and the former boss have sought legal assistance and they claim that the patent was stolen. In the end, after the court case they take 100% and he ends with nothing. Over time he learns that the judge was in on it, he had become a silent partner in the event that scores them $6,000,000,000 split 6 ways. 

This starts the plan where he starts to get even. The clock now jumps 12 years, the 6 are of course really happy, and during that event the social engineer walks in and shoots the entire party, the thieves their partners and 11 children. 

The next moment we see that they are in heaven, the 6 families are there, and they have large mansions, cherubs that take care of their needs and they are seemingly happy. It is at this point that the floor comes down from under them. The idea is that the civil engineer got away from hell somehow and is not wreaking havoc in heaven, yet in all this, heis focused on the 6 families, taking one child after another, all to be collected and placed on a cage of emonic thorns, making the children sign over their souls for their parents non prosecution of theft, all the kids agree and are dropped into hell, at that point the parents have to select heaven or hell, in the end only one accepts the exchange and jumps into hell with the key that will unshackle his child. 

That is as far as I got, the link to the good place is seen when in the end it shows that they were all in hell, the heaven impression was done in a deal between the head demon (Asmodeus) and the civil engineer to get his revenge. The deal was his soul freely given to teach the thieves a lesson. Yet the civil engineer has another part in all this, as the thieves sign over their allegiance towards their soul for the absolution of their crime, the second plan comes into effect. It will be his ticket out of hell. 

That is as far as I got, it took about an hour to think it through, there is a lot more, but I will not bore you with that part, not for as long as it is not properly scripted. 

This was my state of mind as the news hit me on the Coronavirus, the idea that the US has 52,000 deaths to the coronavirus, 25% of all global deaths, and they are now reopening (to some degree) their country, apart from a president making (sarcastic or not) some claim that the body can be cured from the coronavirus by applying detergent to it. In all this, we get the realisation that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Trump both seem to live at Pennsylvania Avenue 1600,it seems that Disney characters are getting a living upgrade. Not bad for a weekend, is it?

Yet the idea of making an iteration of the Good Place wasn’t my initial idea, yet I reckon is that this series has had its impact, yet my version is not a comedy, it is much darker, heaven almost exceptionally puritan, and hell is dark and fire red in aspects (I haven’t been there yet so my view on this place is still shaping. Yet if we agree that we are driven by the seven sins and the seven virtues, the trap we make for ourselves is that there is a lack of balance. If Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness and humility are on one side, what is on the other? Pride? Avarice? Envy? Wrath? Lust? Gluttony? Sloth? As I see it, they nullify one another, like a seesaw we are on the twisting point between sin and virtue, how can we chose the balance? If Lust and Chastity are on a seesaw and our setting is the axial, how can we select? Love is a combination of many facets, lust and chastity are part of it, but they do not stand alone and we are in a stage to keep the seesaw balanced. The issue is not lust or chastity, it is fear and greed. The US reopening their places (to some extent). In all this the numbers are screaming part of the idiocy (as I see it), all these nations, the EU at almost 750 million citizens. Then we get India, Asia and in all this, the registered deceased spans 25% of the world, that is the US. Reopening stores and trying to get back into the swing of things is a choice and perhaps it is the better one, I do not have the knowledge to debunk it, but the larger healthcare message is lockdown, there is wisdom in that too. Knowing what is best is not for me to say. I understand both sides and as we see Bloomberg giving us one side,the NPR rolls in another direction, like the seesaw, the axial of balance is in the middle, yet to what direction should we swing? The problem is that for most of us the balance point is influenced by fear and equally by greed. Greed might not be pronounced outspokenly by a lot of people, but greed is a reason we must address. Even as for most it will be about the ability to pay the bills, is it any less greed driven? We might all see greed as evil (I at times do that too), yet the need to survive is also laced with greed, the need we have to pay our bills, we call it differently, but it remains a form of greed and not all greed is pure evil. This reminds me of an original Star Trek episode, it was called ‘the Enemy within’, the realisation that the good Kirk and the evil Kirk need one another, if balance of ruthlessness and empathy is essential to make sensible decisions, we see another path that we all face. The more primal the drive,the more direct the balance between both elements is seen. We are at times driven to deny the negative emotions, yet the early lockdown the harsh decision (or logic) behind it might have lowered the curve for the US, we cannot tell for certain, it is too late now, but the fact remains, in a nation with 325 million people, out of a population of 8,000 whilst there are over 2.5 million of cases and the number of deceased in the USA represents 25% of all corona victims. The numbers seem to indicate that lowering the curve sooner would have been better, but I have always stated that there is more to this virus, and so far the US is still in a beginning stage, as such the 25% might be a low number for now and the bad side is that the reopening of the US in a week might signal a very negative situation. We can speculate on this until we are old and grey, but reality will show us what will be soon enough. 

We will all make up our own minds, some will blame 5G and burn down Wifi masts, some will blame the chinese (again) and come up with more matters to prosecute and in all this, the history of the other versions of corona are ignored, we can ask any cat, but they are seemingly merely the victims in all this. It seems that the bosses that mploy a lot of us are soon to be seen as good and bad, which will upset the curve a lot, but no matter how we look towards the future and where we look, we need to find a balance within ourselves and propagate that outwards, that is essential to create a balance within ourselves, because no matter how this all goes, there is every indication that the month may will see the first of several cycles of blaming the people around us. 

 

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When walls close in

I had an interesting day, my mind designed another game, I dreamt of a new movie and I considered what comes next in the entire Covid mess. I will say upfront that it is all speculation, the issues skating close to the truth usually are. It all started with the news. The BBC gives us ‘Trump: A safe gradual and phased opening’, which might be nice and OK, yet the people who actually know about sickness and disease think it is a bad idea. With 2,347,887 sick and 161,138 dead people some will get to say ‘I see dead people’, and they might be telling the truth. I will not waste your time to consider the 739K sick people in the US and the connected 39K dead people, the math there does not hold up completely because of the timeline and the speed at which it pushes through due to large cities like New York. And what do hundreds of Americans do, people without any level of medical education mind you? They protest against the Covid rules, they are the source of propagating the disease and that is good. You see Wall Street and its vassals need to learn the one lesson they forgot about, if you bank on a consumer based wealth cuve, you need actual consumers and the US lost over 39K consumers. Their debts cannot be collected and the curve changes. Even as some Texans push to reopen to open their business, we will see that the rents are due but a lot of customers will stay away. Open business without mindful consumers spending money. Yes it is the time for Amazon to really reel in the cash, but in the end, the shops still lose. And remember resident Trump making some waves in proclaiming against all evidence that the mortality rate of Covid would be no more than 1.8%? It is over 5% in the US at present. No one seems to be asking the right questions. The economic model must be adhered to and the EU is starting to realise that it is a mere tool in the needs of the US, AUS has not figured that out yet, but they will, or perhaps AUS will become the 53rd state of the US. All speculative options at present,something that will be merketter as the A state of the US.

In my view there is a lot of overreaction regarding the flu, yet I am willing to accept that it is done to lower the curve and to keep casualties down, OK, I get it. I might not like it, but I get it and that feeling remains absent for a lot in the US.

Andin all this as we see the reactions to investigations on the World Health Organisation, I am content to write those names down, the pretentious Marise Payne who is all about bi-partisanship. The interesting thing is that this all happened right after the accusations by President D. Trump, yet not unlike the Huawei situation no evidence of any kind was ever produced, and again the A state of the US is following. It is one of those times when ‘bipartisan’ seems to meen, ‘a tool for the US’. 

Why am I here?

You see a flu this amazing where mortality rate is in the sewers and all over the place, jumping from 2% to 10% whilst there are over 100K patients in that country is not natural. There can always be some fluctuation, but if you merely look at Germany and France, where the amount of dead people are apart by almost 500%, there is a larger issue, that issue is that there is more to the disease and nations are in denial of that part, yet blaming China makes it all OK, or so they think.

Let’s make sure that I am not stating that they are innocent, I am stating that so far we see no evidence of any kind and the open hostilities of the US towards China are not set in any light in the media. That too is a piece of evidence that needs to be illuminated.

The stage where Marise Payne is stating that the WHO should not run the investigation and that she is stating that China should allow for transparency whilst she herself is in a doubtful stage is unmentioned. I agree that the coronavirus needs to be investigated, yet it needs to be done by the right people, the fact that she wants to invalidate the WHO from the get go is weird to say the least. In all this the first station of the flu is healthcare and they have been underfunded for over a decade, the health of consumers was overplayed and the effects underestimated. This is visible in AUS, the UK, many nations in the EU and the US. I know too little of Japan to add them to the list. 

THese consumers are adamant and directly involved, because without them the Wall Street formula fails and someone is finally realising it. Forbes stated on April 13th (a Monday) ‘Wall street Wobbles as investors ignore the science of Covid-19’ and there we see “its transmissibility and mortality rate are known to health officials. All of this information has been communicated publicly” yet there are clear open souces out there as well as the numbers in Germany,Spain, Italy and China that makes for a shoddy case in both matters and the people are just ignoring it. The article shows a few other parts and also the fact that when it comes to Wall Street, it is erratic, especially when the numbers go down and that is what will happen, as the US surpasses a mortality numbers of 50K, we will see panic by investors, especially as the disease does not differentiate between the rich and the poor, the worker and the abuser, a flu that merely kills. And when they realise that the death rate in the US is five times that of Germany, we will see initial inklings that there is a larger play and it is not seen in the death numbers, it will be seen in the stage where economies cannot get started because it requires consumers and they are dead. Yet the total deaths is lower than those in Syria and Yemen, so why bother now?

Because now they are consumers that these companies vie for and they no longer answer their phones, and for the most the health officials are ignored to avoid the danger that the message is too negative. As we see in the UK that the NHS people are wearing aprons instead of gowns. As they are on life support, we see a much larger danger. A nation where health care falls away, it took 114K patients and 15K deaths to pull that off, so when will Americans realise that their numbers are a lot worse and their levels of inequality. The Guardian gave us ‘Profit over people, cost over care: America’s broken healthcare’, and no one in the US is actively investigating that part? Australia is almost in a similar place. 

It is not the beginning or the middle, this is the beginning of the beginning and things will get worse. I wonder how many people realise that, even as we see all kinds of numbers, when we do get sick and healthcare falls away, the world has a problem and the US will be one of the first ones to learn what happens when the Wall Street formula cannot be matched. For them profit is everything, lives are not.

So whilst you are in lockdown, consider the fact that when the walls fall in, it is not a case of the walls falling in, but you have been placed in a coffin and you are a number on the covid stats, no matter where you live. And optionally, you will be one of the forgotten, especially as the BBC and others are stating that these numbers are so much higher than expected. In the UK has 2,000 home care locations with the Coronavirus, yet ABC claims that their numbers are not to be found, so how high is the problem and what else is unknown at present. So whilst we are not in possession of the numbers, some are still willing to blame China, all whilst for too long too many places left the border open until specifics were known, that failing in foresight is also unmentioned in many places, I wonder what that investigation will bring to the table of Marie Payne, if she looks at it at all.

 

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Secretary of the Nanny

Something happened last week, it was seen in the BBC news when we were given ‘Captain pleads for help over outbreak’, in this case it is Captain Crozier of the USS Theodore Rooseveld. I initially wondered how they dealt with other flu scenarios, taking into consideration that except from him and his CO, the people on that ship are pretty much all of them in the lower than 1% mortality rate group. Most people in Las Vegas would give their wife, oldest daughter and mistress for those odds, so why is there an overreaction? 

I was uneasy with the entire ‘No one has to die’ approach. This is a warship and here my Merchant Navy knowledge, training and education is a little help. I understand and accept the hierarchy that is important on EVERY boat, Article 2 is about the responsibility of the ship’s captain (ZAR, when I was in School) and I remember that part (reference to the Ships Collision Regulation). Yet it is larger and harder on a war vessel. I do not envy the situation that Captain Crozier found himself in, but the entire stage is an altered one, and the alteration matters. 

It requires me to repeat the part that I gave three days ago, the age based mortality curve. 

80+ years old 14.8%

70-79 years old 8.0%

60-69 years old 3.6%

50-59 years old 1.3%

40-49 years old 0.4%

30-39 years old 0.2%

20-29 years old 0.2%

10-19 years old 0.2%

Consider that the bulk of a naval vessel will have people between 20 and 39 years of age. This Captain is setting the odds against a stage where he runs the risk of optionally losing 8 people, and that is in a stage where complications set in. Lets not forget that military staff tends to be in much better condition then the average person in that same age, so optionally the risk for these groups is 20%-30% lower than the numbers we see, and I admit that this is slightly speculative, yet I feel that this is correct. As such I stand behind the Secretary of the Navy, or as we could consider the nanny of Captain Crozier,who set himself up in all kinds of ways. Letters ‘leaked’ to the press, the view of the navy and a few other matters makes me a supporter of Thomas Modly and the actions he took in this (name calling disregarded).

Yes, we want all crews to be 100% safe, but it is and remains a war vessel, there are priorities that need to be met and on a crew of 4000, losing 8 people is not nice, but not unrealistic either. In all this, the entire ‘plead for help’ was massively stupid, and he knew this, mainly because he would have send any considerations on the pandemic to the Admiralty (its American equivalent) and that does not seem to have been the case.

Perhaps there is a side where I am wrong and I should not call his actions ‘massively stupid’ yet there are other actions he could have taken and if it is not written down it does not exist, it is that simple in political actions and this was in part a political move, lets make no illusions on that. In this, it is my opinion that the call by Joe Biden (stating that the firing of Captain Crozier was close to criminal) is wrong, or at least this is how I perceive it to be. The Captain called doubt on the functioning of an American Warship and that is never OK. I cannot tell you what is the right action, but the visibility was wrong, there are rules, regulations and visibility of those in charge and most civilians do not understand it. That is not their fault, but there is a given where the function of a warship even in peacetime is extensive and we forget or shut our eyes to this and in civilian life that is fine, in the eyes of defence it is not. 

Showing your optional enemies that there is weakness and handing this out in a letter is folly, my mind remains focussed on who ‘leaked’ the letter, because that is the larger enemy in all this, not Captain Crozier (unless he leaked the letter).

 

 

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Points that are proven

I made several accusations yesterday and today I find a few of them proven. The first part is expected in a setting that is giving us an additional 28,000 cases in 24 hours (globally). I also made statements and denials, and for now I stand by them, Even as we today see that the mortality rate is going up to 4% (it went from 3.4%, 3.6% and 3.8% yesterday).

The map shows the exploding number of cases and it does not explain how two people in Mongolia and Mayotte suddenly got exposed, the track does not make sense. There are questions, and clearly that the medical field people should not get blamed, but the fact is that they do not have answers, which is not their fault.

The governments behind it all are shouting and pointing but they are (as I personally see it) pointing away from the problem. There is a speculation within me and it is not a proven one. Even as the people were infectious BEFORE they got symptoms (which is proven) there is a larger feeling that those who got over the disease are still carriers infecting others (the unproven part), that part alone might explain to some degree the explosion of cases in Italy and a few other places all over the EU.

The stage is a setting that might to some degree (not all of it) explain the explosion of cases in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and the USA. If that part is true then places like Canada, Argentina and Mexico are in for a much harder time then they ever considered. And there is another part in all this. 

As the mortality rate in San Marino (almost 10%) and Belgium (0.8%), the numbers are too far apart. We need to consider that the disease is acting in another way too. The ‘excuse’ of underlying health conditions is too convenient an excuse (personal view on the matter). 

I am not pointing at the cause, I do not know and I want to avoid giving out false information, but any disease is at a stage where it optionally kills a group and the larger the population, the more accurate that number will be. This is not speculation, this has been fact for the longest time, as such we need to look at the Chinese mortality rate, which is 3.98% at present. From that point of view the people in Belgium have a lot of bad news to look forward to, in that same context Italy also has a stage that is at present unvisited. With a 11.19% mortality rate, the numbers seem skewed, even as Italy has less than half the amount of cases that China has, the difference is almost astounding and there is no factual explanation to that. We can think that China was on top of it, but they were not, their reaction was slow (with acceptable cause) and still Italy ends up with twice the amount of mortality cases in percentage, which fuels my underlying thoughts that there is more to the cases than meets the eye, in that setting it does not matter how infectious the 2,941 cases remained, the percentages tell a different story and the people who are fueled by fear will keep on buying and hoarding long term food sources in all other places. In all this the foremost thought will be how over 24 hours 28,000 people got the disease, something is not working and I tried to tell some of the somewhat abusive responders yesterday, in that light it is (to me) apparently clear that there is no containment, not to the degree that there should be. Even as Europe went into lockdown mode, we now see well over 10,000 new cases in 24 hours. We see the news giving us how famous people are in the glare of catching the disease, we see how sources use President Trump as a punching bag, and it goes on, yet there were two information givers that did hand out the news we actually needed. The first is Science Daily (at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200317150116.htm), they gave us “New research finds that the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces. Scientists found that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was detectable in aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel“, so why is this news from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases not globally released by the media? How many cardboard boxes did you handle, how many stainless steel or plastic on public transport did you touch in the last day as the people around you were coughing and sneezing? Are you still off the mind that this is a standard flu? How many viruses can set themselves in that environment?

It becomes even more apprehendable when we see “The study information was widely shared during the past two weeks after the researchers placed the contents on a preprint server to quickly share their data with colleagues” all whilst the media is to a larger extent not informing you, it makes no sense, on the other hand, every dead person implies a cheaper house and a better paying job for me, so let the media continue (if it kills me I will not worry about the other two elements).

There is also the Washington Post who gives us ‘Coronavirus looks different in kids than in adults‘ (at https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/17/coronavirus-looks-different-kids-than-adults/). As such we see the quote “A paper released this week in the journal Pediatrics, based on 2,143 young people in China, provides the most extensive evidence on the spread of the virus in children, and there is bad news and good news. The study provides confirmation that coronavirus infections are in fact generally less severe in kids, with more than 90 percent having mild to moderate disease or even being asymptomatic. But it contains worrisome information about one subset — infants — and suggests that children may be a critical factor in the disease’s rapid spread.” In this we see the first optional clue on the issue on how the disease has a skewness, even as the kids will recover, they are implied to be a spreader of the disease as well, and I still believe that those cured are still spreaders as well, it does give a much larger rise to the numbers, but not completely, the kids and surfaces as a factor might cover and even overlap the numbers we see, yet the media keeps us little or not informed on the matter (with a small amount of exceptions).

As such we need to consider that bosses are panicking all over the world, as we see that the number of cases will surpass 400,000 cases by the end of this month, some can rejoice on the optionally given fact that 16,000 jobs become optionally vacant all over the world and as the jobs are in tech and high tech, we will see them jump for staff members. I actually got an invite yesterday with “We can discuss which employers are hiring during the Coronavirus outbreak“, there is always a dollar to be made by someone. Is there anyone in denial out there?

In all this the proven points are still outranked by the things we do not know and we cannot blame anyone for that, as the disease is out there, it seems to be largely driven by unknown factors and as each test and trial takes time, we will be in unknown surroundings for some time to come, the only thing we can do is not to give in to our fears, especially as fear drives useless acts. The fact that a supermarket giant like Woolworths (Coles too) gives us “Woolworths will no longer provide refunds for toilet paper, tissues and paper towels if customers simply change their minds” is grounds for a much larger stage and as the people now slowly realise that they set their budget to spend 40% on these items as well as rice and pasta, we will see the need for cookbooks on pasta and rice menus as that self-austerity driven diet gets to be tedious after day 5, some people have close to a month of pasta and rice in the house, so there. 

Even now, we see the reaction regarding ‘outbreak reaches every US state‘, all whilst we are forgetting that the US is one US, the spread through other means is driving it across state borders, in this we also get ‘Australia says measures could last six months‘, yet which measures? All of them, the ones that work, the ones that are based on fear? So whilst Steven Mnuchin decided to speak (7 minutes ago), we see “U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned Republican senators on Tuesday that failure to act on a proposed coronavirus rescue package could lead to U.S. unemployment as high as 20% and lasting economic damage” in this my point of view is ‘Really?‘, non actions will propogate the disease, more deaths, less unemployed and housing prices down, is that a bad thing? It is possible that Steven forgot that there is a difference between unemployed, UN employed and dead. 

I merely wonder, but that is not for me to say, is it?

 

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It took one funeral

In the left corner

Iran is in all kinds of problems, there are a few issues all playing at the same time, yet the one that is satisfying me the most is the news on Al-Jazeera where we see ‘UN monitors say Houthis not behind Saudi Aramco attacks: Report‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/monitors-houthis-saudi-aramco-attacks-report-200109062732396.html) It is here that we see “The investigators, who monitor sanctions on Yemen, also said they do not believe that “those comparatively sophisticated weapons were developed and manufactured in Yemen.” They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible for the Saudi attack” in this it is interesting that it was merely about identifying that houthis were not responsible and the added ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ merely shows a larger failing for the UN. Of course they might use the same approach in falsely accusing the murderers of Jamal Khashoggi, but the UN cannot get what it wants, it is now a political engine trying to be the vice for the EU to get Nuclear accords. What took them a month to figure out was within my grasp within hours when I wrote ‘Government? Censorship?‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/08/18/government-censorship/), the data was available and even as the UN might set ‘standards’ for their information (the UN-essay by Agnes Callamard debates that), the setting of a destroyed Yemen making advanced weaponry like the drones, all whilst they never had the people to make them before the war was not a part that they took for granted? The fact that years of war show a rather large lack of accuracy whilst the pinpoint accuraccy of the attack on Aramco was almost surgical. No, none of that mattered to the UN, even as they had months to look into the matter ‘They were not tasked with identifying who was responsible‘ rears its ugly head. Al Jazeera then gives us “Adel al-Jubeir, signalled in September that Riyadh was waiting for results of UN investigations before announcing how his country would respond. UN experts monitoring UN sanctions on Iran and Yemen travelled to Saudi Arabia days after the September attack. Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, told the Security Council in a separate report on December 10  that the UN was “unable to independently corroborate” that missiles and drones used in the attacks “are of Iranian origin”“, the UN did its job and prevented a war at the expense of credibility and trustworthiness. I had by that date in December established via several sources that only Iran could have done what was done and I even looked at other Saudi Allies as optional aggressors, only NATO and Iran remained as optional aggressors, I wonder if we get a NATO brief next week with an apology? The matter is actually larger than merely hardware, Houthi forces also do not have the ability (read: people) to properly control drones, I would argue that my ability (I’ve never managed a drone) with mere Flight Simulator experience would make me a better drone operator than any Houthi. 

In the right corner

Now we get to the fun part (for me that is), the news of ‘Catastrophic failure of Ukraine jet in Iran suggests missile strike‘ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/09/catastrophic-failure-ukraine-jet-iran-suggests-missile) with added photo of a Tor-M1 part gives a rather nasty setting, it is the news that comes with “Fail-safe systems that would have allowed the aircraft to get back safely in the event of engine failure appeared to have been compromised in an instant. Others pointed to what looked like penetrating holes in the airframe, leading some to compare them to the damage suffered by the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by a Buk surface-to-air missile five years ago“, yet I was not convinced, if I slam Iranians (which is always fun) I want to keep a rather high level of evidence in play. I am also unwilling (after three CIA bungles) to go with “the US had picked up the signature of an anti-aircraft missile battery locking on to the Ukrainian plane, and then the infrared heat signal of two missile launches followed by that of an explosion on the plane“. I even debate the intelligence implied by prime minister Justin Trudeau (most likely relying on US-CIA intelligence) that it was an Iranian surface-to-air missile. I am however taken with the independent part of “the aircraft landed safety with only one death, thanks to the significant “redundancy”, or fail-safe designs, built into modern planes to allow them to land safely after an engine failure“, you see, no matter what happened after that, the plane would be in a largely controlled crash drive and there would be communication, there would be updates by the pilot, no matter what his or her nationality was. In addition there is: “Here we had some kind of event that knocked the transponder off the plane. Some kind of event that disabled the electronics to that system. It takes a lot to disable the electronics on a sophisticated aircraft like the 737-800“, I get that and that is very acceptable and from that we get back to the quote ‘Experts say debris fragments and sudden loss of fail-safe systems point to missile‘ and “while some apparent evidence of fragment damage to the aircraft turned out to be debris from the ground, other images showed ragged holes in one of the engines and scorching to one side of the cockpit, and other parts of the aircraft“, this all point towards the use of a missile and I agree with the statement of implied convenience “the unverified picture of the seeker head of the Tor-M1 missile seemed to some to be too good to be true, lying on the ground and largely intact“, I would like to know the source of that image, it is not Iranian, that much is certain, and any person ‘on the ground’ there finding that part is just too much of a happy go lucky lottery winner for me to have faith in (yes, I tend to not trust anyone). The issue remains, Iran is screwing up, in massive ways, the overreaction towards a civilian passenger carrier implies that the people there cannot distinguish between optional targets and that implies a lack of push on the iranian side, if they go to war whilst their people cannot tell differences implies that they are open to much larger flaws when tactical issues cannot play out because they cannot tell the difference.

Even as we (to some degree) accept “US officials would not disclose the intelligence they claim to have that indicates an Iranian missile was to blame, they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communications intercepts and other similar intelligence“, there is a play in motion, now that Iran has torn up the nuclear accords, we see new actions on the table, yet these actions seem hollow. Actions like ‘Germany urges Europe to respond to Iran’s nuclear violations‘ (source: Reuters), where we see the quote “stopped short of calling for renewed U.N. sanctions“, an almost cowardly level of response whilst the transgressions have been going on since October 2019, I spoke about it in ‘The tradesman and the deal‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/11/05/the-tradesman-and-the-deal/), yet the EU still cannot find any solution that works months later and is refraining from ‘calling for renewed U.N. sanctions‘, it’s like watching a large neon sign ‘I saw a big pussy and it called itself EU‘, no wonder nothing gets resolved.

Yet no matter how it turns, Iran is getting more and more issues on its plate and there is a growing amount of international intelligence and evidence to really turn up the heat on Iran, the problem is that there are also an increased amount of players who want ‘their’ project to continue and that is the larger problem for now, when we look at the timeline and resolve the Aramco attacks at Abqaiq and Khurais first, we will see a much larger level of pressure against Iran, nuclear accords be damned, anyone thinking that Iran would abide by them is completely looney tunes, the news that Iran gave last year of transgressing its 300Kg limit by one thousand percent was (as I personally see it) a timed one, there was just not enough space to hide their transgression and the materials and hardware required for it and that part is just ignored by too many (mostly the 27 players in the EU), now one funeral later it all comes to blow, but not because of the funeral, the matter that people forget is that when you have an orchestra and you replace the conductor, we see that the orchestra is going through changes, it always does and as we see it now, the fact that Qassam Soleimani was juggling half a dozen issues at the same time, it is expected that his replacement will drop a few items as he does not know these issues 100%, as well as the fact that the people in that army are all vying for a better position, that is the benefit we now have and that is why we have to push. When Iran is exposed to the largest degree they will falter again and again until they have no credibility anywhere, that is the setting we need to go for, not because of people on a flight, not because of attacks of refineries or transgressions on accords, those are in the past, we need to do it because of the things that are still to reach the surface and there are issues that will still reach the surface, that is what will show Iran as the weak middle eastern bully it has been for the longest time, there is the victory of what is yet to come and that will set change, the problem is will the opponents of Iran be strong enough? Saudi Arabia and Israel are, the rest is open to interpretation, it is linked to the ego of the speakers and the win they still hope for, the EU is showing that all too clearly.

I personally wonder just how far certain players are willing to go to get their ego’s fixed, I feel certain we will see a lot more before the month is over.

 

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Travel by Ransomware

On Tuesday an interesting article was given by the guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/07/travelex-being-held-ransom-hackers-said-demanding-3m#maincontent), the title ‘Travelex ‘being held to ransom’ by hackers said to be demanding $3m‘ almost said it all and then I noticed something. First we get “Criminals are thought to be demanding about $3m (£2.3m) – to give the firm access to its computer systems after they attacked using the Sodinokibi ransomware on 31 December“, the price is not set without quarter, this we get from “They are reportedly threatening to release 5GB of customers’ personal data – including social security numbers, dates of birth and payment card information – into the public domain unless the company pays up” as well as “banks who use Travelex’s foreign exchange services to stop taking online orders for currency, affecting Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money and First Direct.” You see Travelex, based in London, has a presence in more than 70 countries with more than 1,200 branches and 1,000 ATMs worldwide. It processes more than 5,000 currency transactions every hour yet, even as we see that it is on the London Stock Exchange, however the group is based in the United Arab Emirates. As for the actions we see “On Thursday 2 January, the Met’s cyber crime team were contacted with regards to a reported ransomware attack involving a foreign currency exchange. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing” here is the snag, what are the chances that US actions are impeded as it impacts 70 countries? Is there a reason why the FBI is not equally involved? You see, Sodinokibi is a spin off from Gandcrab and as we see (at https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/fbi-releases-master-decryption-keys-for-gandcrab-ransomware/) the FBI got those keys. Now the keys will not be compatible, but if they get one solution, they might get another solution. The fact that corporations are hit and we see “the developers behind the wildly successful GandCrab Ransomware announced that they were closing shop after allegedly amassing $2 billion in ransom payments and personally earning $150 million“, we would want to think that the FBI is on top of this and get some pay-back (I had to use that pun).

We also learn from Acronis “Sodinokibi ransomware exploits an Oracle WebLogic vulnerability (CVE-2019-2725) to gain access to the victim’s machine“, and when we go to the Oracle page we see that there had been a solution from last May onwards. there is also the part “Product releases that are not under Premier Support or Extended Support are not tested for the presence of vulnerabilities addressed by this Security Alert. However, it is likely that earlier versions of affected releases are also affected by these vulnerabilities. As a result, Oracle recommends that customers upgrade to supported versions” the question becomes did Travelex forget to do a few things? the article does not pan out on that.

Yet in all this IT News (at https://www.itnews.com.au/news/ransomware-shuts-down-travelex-systems-536191) gives us ‘Unpatched systems could be attack vector, say researchers‘, and they also give us “No evidence has surfaced so far that structured personal customer data has been encrypted, or exfiltrated. This is in contrast with a report in Computer Weekly that alleged the criminals deploying the Revil/Sodinokibi ransomware had attacked servers storing sensitive, confidential information that included customer names and their bank account and transaction details” and it does not stop there. They also give us “Troy Mursch, chief research officer at security vendor Bad Packets said it notified the forex multinational in September of a serious vulnerability in its Pulse Virtual Private Networking servers. The vulnerability went unpatched until November” which sets a much larger question mark on the entire issue as the news give us that the attack came almost a month after that. They curtiously also give us “Prior to that, security researcher Kevin Beaumont noted that Travelex was operating cloud instances of Windows Server on Amazon Web Services that had Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) enabled and exposed to the internet, but with Network Level Access (NLA) control disabled. An RDP flaw, known as BlueKeep, allows for full remote compromise of Windows without user interaction” and these issues are not asked about? At least the Guardian article does not stop on them. 

The most hilarious response is seen at the very end of the IT News article with “Despite the attack closing down online systems, Travelex said it does not currently anticipate any material financial impact for its parent Finablr” Travelex might have numerous issues to consider, but the customer does not make the high point of that, or as I would mildly put it, who cares about Finablr? Well I reckon that the London Stock Exchange cares as the value of Finablr made a crashing 17% loss, that is almost one in five pounds that is lost too those bright young lads (ladies also). They advertise (on their website) ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary technology‘ instead of ‘Finablr is a global platform for Payments and Foreign Exchange solutions underpinned by modern and proprietary hackable technology‘. It is a small difference, but a distinct one, especially as Oracle had placed a solution for months and the second message by Kevion Beaumont does not help any I reckon. In support a source gave the BBC that they feel let down, complaining that their travel money is “in limbo”, which is interesting, as the Guardian article gives us “Travelex first revealed the New Year’s Eve attack on 2 January, when it sought to assure that no customer data had yet been compromised” and as the article came 5 days after, the absence of victim mentioning is an interesting one, it seems that Travelex is not handling this situation well on a few levels, optionally also in arrear of making mantion towards the customers, all in opposition to the text on Travelex.com, which gives (among more data) “Tony D’Souza, Chief Executive of Travelex, said “Our focus is on communicating directly with our partners and customers to protect them and their information from any further compromise. We take very seriously our responsibility to protect the privacy and security of our partner and customer’s data as well as provide an excellent service to our customers and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused. Travelex continues to offer services to its customers on a manual basis and is continuing to provide alternative customer solutions in the interim. We are working tirelessly to bring our systems back online.”” 

As such we get Travelex giving us one part and the BBC giving quite the opposite, and at this point my question becomes, exactly how much money is ‘in limbo‘?

That and a few more parts all rise to the surface when I look into this matter, the entire time gap on the side of Travelex being the most prevalent one. The one part that Acronis made me wonder about was the exemption list, the fact that It will try not to infect computers from countries based on the locale setting of the computer, which gives us “Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanian, Tajikistan, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tatarstan“, the reason is unknown to me, perhaps they fear those countries and their ‘justice system’?

By the way, the entire Finablr website mention was essential, they are so for the ‘future’ yet security is seemingly not among it. That part is seen when we consider “In April 2019, the Cybereason Nocturnus team analyzed a new type of evasive ransomware dubbed Sodinokibi“, as such it took the Oracle team months to get a solution made (which makes perfect sense) yet the lack of implementation by Travelex is less normal. From all information it seems to me that Travelex should have made larger steps to be secure no later than Halloween, so the issue is a little larger than we consider, and the fact that Sodinokibi is a much larger field that goes back a few billion dollars. This is a contemplated speculation when we look at CSO Online where we get “While Sodinokibi is not necessarily a direct continuation of GandCrab, researchers have found code and other similarities between the two, indicating a likely connection” implying that for at least one person $150 million was not enough. 

As such, the entire Travelex issue will be around much longer than the ransomware will be, there will need to be a larger amount of questions to its mother organisation Finablr as well. From my speculative side it seems that some players are lacking certain IT skills, or/and a larger shortage of it, that is the initial feeling I got when I saw the information that Troy Mursch and Kevin Beaumont handed over to the press, and so far the information as seen supports a larger failing in Travelex and optionally Finablr as well. There is support for my way of thinking, no matter who is on the board of directors, none of them are IT experts and that is fine, yet by not having a visionary IT expert leading the charge we see a larger failing coming their way. It is not merely having an IT department and a security department, someone needs to spearhead and protect IT issues in the Board of Directors and there is no evidence that this is happening, actually the Travelex issue gives rise that it is not happening at all. More important, the issue with the website is that it is highly sales oriented, and when I had a look there (I reckon the Sodinokibi members as well), I wondered how secure are Unimoni, Xpress Money, Remit2India, Ditto and Swych? When one of these points get attacked, will the board of directors act appropriately? It is optionally a little ironic that they are hit whilst they advertised a paper on their site on November 20th (a month before the attack) ‘Why data protection is your new strategic priority‘, my initial thought? ‘Sarcasm, when it backfires it becomes irony!‘ Yes it seems like a cheap ride from my side, but we forget that Common Cyber Sense is a real thing and corporations need a much larger vested interest in being safe than ever before, GandCrab showed that part months before this event took place and I reckon that Financial corporations need to take a much larger vested interest in that matter, or so I am led to believe, I could (of course) be wrong.

What do you think?

 

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Inheritance for the weak

Things happened and things needed to be done, this has been a long standing issue and America took that stance. Yes, we agree that we do not want a war, but Iran made it almost unattainable and something had to be done. So when I see (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/06/nato-chief-holds-back-from-endorsing-us-killing-of-suleimani) the words “Jens Stoltenberg condemns Iran but stresses drone attack decision was not made by Nato” we see a truth, yet the words given are that of a weakling. It gets support from “His intervention came as the EU commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, also warned Iran that “it is imperative that it return to the nuclear deal”, remarks that could presage a European decision to abandon the deal if Iran does not recommit itself to its terms“, another weakling on the European front. They are all about ego and not about realism, for months Iran has ignored the deal, it has traversed transgression point after transgression point and the EU is about ‘Let’s talk a little more’, it is like we are watching the police agree with drug dealers who have brought in 8 containers filled with drugs that they should come in so that an arrangement can be made for container number 9. They are drug dealers, deal with it!

America did the one thing that had to be done and now we see media article after media article on why we should not do it, that same media that has decided not to report on Iranian actions in Yemen, we now see more on ‘Iranian backed Houthis’ and that is as much as we can get from the media. So as we get ‘US allies distance themselves from Trump decision to assassinate Suleimani‘, we see more. I get it, Israel is too close to Iran and they cannot get dragged into it, they are dealing with Hezbollah and that is good. We also see ‘Saudi minister urges restraint in Washington‘, which is slightly less good, but the reasoning is clear, they are close to Iran and in close striking distance, they need to take a cautious stance here, yet Iran had to be dealt with and the killing of Qassam Soleimani is the point of no return, it has been done and now we need to make sure that Tehran realises that the gig is up, we will act and we will come for them, so having weaklings like Stoltenberg and van der Leyen in the EU, who have no issue making strong language when it suits them and their ego’s is a bit of a waste.

So as I read “Mike Pompeo, has already expressed disappointment in the lukewarm reaction of Washington’s European allies” I can only agree with Mike Pompeo. I see the issue that Saudi deputy defence minister, Khalid bin Salman faces and he needs to do what is best for Saudi Arabia, yet most experts are in agreement that the attack on Aramco could only have come through the acts of Iran and via the acts of Iran. The Guardian article also mentioned “There is mounting concern that the more cautious stance by the US-led coalition would make it much less effective and allow Isis to regenerate“, this is the larger issue and Iran has been playing a seesaw card for the longest of times, they have played that card well and that is the pivoting point, now with Soleimani away they will make mistakes, and that is what we needed for the longest of times, there is also the concern that the media is now in another bind. The Washington Post gave us 4 days ago “Soleimani took control of the Quds Force, the external wing of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), in the late 1990s and went on to expand its regional presence. He was widely known for his high-profile links to paramilitary groups from Syria to Yemen that are now in the spotlight“, yet the larger newspapers have been shunning reports on Iran action in Yemen for well over a year, so I think that there is a larger play to consider. The spotlights are now illuminating the Iranian acts in Yemen and that is good, there is a larger setting where the media was so on the ‘Nuclear Pact’ deal that they ignored a larger setting, even as Iran ignored certain limits several times over. 

Yet the act of killing also opens up a larger can of worms on the allied side, Luke Hartig (former senior director for counter-terrorism on the national security council) wrote about it he gives us “Trump’s counter-terrorism legacy in Iraq and Syria may be a series of dead bodies but nothing that addresses the core of the problem and no partners willing to help us root it out“, ever since the US has its spats in Iraq we have seen a shifting of CIA staff all over the place, too many were looking for one old man in a cave and they found him (in the end) in Abbottabad, Pakistan but not until a serious amount of time had passed, in the mean time a lot of CIA operatives are useless (known to too many players) and the options for counter intelligence was further impeded by the acts of Julian Assange and ‎Bradley Edward Manning the latter one thought that 3 years of active service was enough to put well over 700,000 classified pieces on Wikileaks. These actions had a lasting effect and will have an effect for close to a decade. Quality Intelligence from the Middle East is only coming from allies (or so it seems). The US has limited action available to them and even whilst we sneer at espionage, we need to realise that it is the importance of it that sets the stage, Sun Tsu was very clear about it in chapter 13 (the Art of War) ‘the importance of developing good information sources‘ is essential and that part is currently missing for the US in the Middle East.

Luke Hartig (at https://www.justsecurity.org/67927/trumps-fatal-mistake-killing-suleimani-vs-countering-isis/) voices it as ‘Trump’s Fatal Mistake: Killing Suleimani vs. Countering ISIS‘, he is not wrong, yet the issue is depending on point of view. I feel that QS was too effective in the Middle East, his meetings tend to voice that part and the fact that two high value targets were taken out with QS was icing on the cake. For the most we ignore the effectiveness of Qassam, yet the truth is that his effectiveness made the Iranian proxy war in Yemen work, I believe that removing him is an essential win for the US, not immediately, but as the Iranian army faces the challenges that they need to find someone as good as QS, they will see that they are merely failing at whatever they try. The Washington Post gives us 5 hours ago “I have more than 4 million followers on various social media networks, and I have received thousands of messages, voice mails and videos from Iranians in cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan, Tehran and even Ahvaz, who are happy about Soleimani’s death. Some complain of the pressure to attend services for him” the Iranian presentation goes on, yet without QS in the mix, it will go a lot less smooth and issues will be overlooked giving s a much larger view on what is happening, optionally the others will get a lot more out of Iran for their trouble and that too aids the effort against Iran. Soleimani was that effective in life. Hartig gives more and it is there that we see his point of view, with “Effective counterterrorism policy is about much more than conducting drone strikes and deploying commandos; it’s about setting the diplomatic and geopolitical conditions for counterterrorism to succeed” he is correct, with the killing of Qassam Soleimani diplomatic and geopolitical options are out of the window, yet in the long run I believe it was the better position to play, the Iranian chess player lost its queen and as such, its chess play will be limited until an equal can be found, or the opposition loses its queen as well. I also agree with Hartig view “President Trump and the true believers in his inner circle have no sense of the strategy it will take to defeat ISIS (or Iran-linked terrorist groups, for that matter). Counterterrorism requires careful, methodical work, undertaken with our closest allies, that builds up local partners, patiently targets key vulnerabilities in the terrorist network over time, and ultimately addresses the long-term drivers of violent extremism“, there is no real tactic to deal with ISIS, it was less clear in the Obama administration, yet they too should have added weights to dealing with ISIS, but the costs were spiralling out of control, and as we consider his words on Africa through “The gains made against al-Shabaab are a result of diplomatic efforts and military assistance designed to stiffen the spine of African Union partners shouldering most of the fight in Somalia. Terrorists in the Sahel have been contained because of rigorous collaboration and modest assistance to the French combined with patient work to bolster regional partners“, we see the larger play, yet in all this QS had the phone number of all those leaders at hand, any of them with a beef against America got a nice weapons deal, now we see another play, without QS these deals will stop and optional larger wins could be made, yet it is not a given. What is a given is the fact that Iran has been out of control for a much longer time and it is high time that some of the egotistical and self wealth concerned players that that under consideration. so when we see ‘Blowback: Iran abandons nuclear limits after US killing‘, we see the wrong message, Iran had already abandoned those limits for a long time, they are merely outspoken about it now and if those in EU charge cannot see them, they should not be in these positions of power. The game and the message changed, but also the lies we see from Iran, it was never ‘Iran drives another stake into the heart of the nuclear deal‘ (source: CNN), it was that there was never going to be a nuclear deal, they ended it when they started the proxy war with Saudi Arabia in Yemen, they needed a large bat to threaten with and they are continuing building that bat, they are however no longer willing to hide their actions to some degree and that works for us (as well).

So even as the Washington Post is all about ‘Iran announces it is suspending its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal‘ (18 hours ago), let there be no mistake, they had done this in the beginning of 2019 they were merely pussyfooting in diplomatic steps, and now that the failure is out, others will blame this on the US, yet the direct information that I gave months ago was a direct sign that Iran had no intentions to ge back to the table unless they could get 200% out of a deal for them, and that was just not realistic. Qassam Soleimani was very adept in this and now we’ll see a different game, first out of anger, then denial, soon we will get them in a stage of bargaining and some fainted national depression, then the push buttons towards reconstruction and acceptance, yet they will move the table with those two buttons again and again, yet now it will be less expertly managed, which again works for everyone else. 

Iran played the game for too long and for the longest time, no one was willing to hold them to account for their actions. We never wanted to control Iran, we merely needed them to play the game like all the other nations, East and West, North and South, they merely thought they were better than everyone else and now that there is a realistic sense towards war they will have to push through and face several nations in combat, or they will actually sit at a table and negotiate some kind of solution. It is what most wanted all along, it merely never went that way, too much ego and that was always the problem on both sides of the isle.

 

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Twenty twenty is visual

Yes, we are in the new year, yet this year (according to Forbes at https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2020/12/29/us-and-china-technology-conflict-heres-why-2020-is-so-critical/amp/) will be a lot more critical than anyone thinks. Yes it is about Huawei, however not in the same lame way that the US administration brings it. Here we see: “Huawei has 42% of the huge Chinese market and more than 25% of the Russian market to get it started. Then on December 28, China’s state media announced that its “Beidou” alternative to America’s GPS satellite navigation system will be completed“, now this is a different kettle of fish. It is not about government intel (in a way it is), it is about who gets the data and the lies that seemingly originated at the oval office are now no longer about ‘the chinese government connections’ it is more about how the US government is not getting the free data that they have had for so long, moreover as we take notice of “But Beidou—“Big Dipper” in Chinese—will not stop at China. It will focus on converting markets in South East Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe, price- and investment-sensitive markets” we see a much larger concern for the yanks, they are at risk of gaining access to a little over 50% of all given data by the end of 2020, that is something to notice, and in my view they had it coming. They make one accusation after another and never show any data to support it. Even now (yesterday) as we see the number of links of TikTok and data, I was able to find well over a dozen US sites where the advertisement of the TikTok app continues, one is called seemingly hypocritical national security (I actually do not know the Tik Tok situation), the other is money and money trumps Trump.

I am baffled why the US would think that this free reaping would continue, I am actually amazed that Russia did not have its own version of software ready. We even see “Russian President Putin described the U.S. campaign against Chinese technology as “the first technological war of the coming digital era.” His point was that this is the start of something much greater and more significant“, he is right in more than one way. Do you think that I would offer my IP to the US when I know that I am getting lied to? I wonder how large the failing list is actually hitting Google and Facebook, the fact that people are intentionally getting misinformed should show up in their numbers as well. For those who have no real affiliation to Social media, China is becoming more and more interesting, the moment that it has a real Facebook equivalent, we will see a much larger jump. For Google the mess is not that big, YouTube is an engine that people cannot live without (pretty much the medical condition is ‘acute VideoitisfromYoutube failure‘) so as we cannot get treated on that, we will continue in the YouTube realm. I personally believe that if the news was a year ago that China was launching its own services the news would have been accepted differently, the entire ‘China is all about spying through Huawei‘ got us on the wrong foot, just like Iraq, just like two other events afterwards the US have been handling billions of free voices and the free voices are through with a lying party like America.

So whilst we take notice of “For China, it will increase its independence and influence. For the U.S., its grip on key standards will loosen and for some of its key players there are risks they could loose material market share“, that is the ballgame, the ‘loose material market share‘, until the beginning of the internet, the US has never had an equal in this fight and in the economic place they are now they are scared. Consider the interest on $23,000,000,000,000 all whilst they are facing a technology user setback of 10%-25% in the first year, and as Asia, Russia and Europe start folding away from the US solutions the interest is impacted and can no longer be paid, for example try the Apple solution for $1749 (down from $2365) and as things ‘suddenly’ become affordable for the people, think of how the population reacts to the coin grab of 2010-2019 when they were trying to make ends meet. This technology wave will follow an anger wave that the US is unable to stop, and beyond that, Huawei has a much larger base soon enough. In Saudi Arabia Huawei was able to set the stage of a strategic memorandum of understanding, healthcare is only the first step and as it shows the progress it will entice Egypt and India, at that point Huawei will achieve two paths that the US only hinted at and sneered (their version of enticement) for well over 10 years whilst never delivering. The people who decide things saw no eager listing to pursue, now that the numbers are getting called in 2020 and 2021 the game changes and there have been too many lies (oops, I meant ‘intentional misrepresentation’) coming from the US players.

And as the EU gives us: ‘European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen voiced skepticism Friday over involving Chinese tech giant Huawei in the rollout of Europe’s 5G networks amid concerns its equipment could be used for spying by Beijing‘, we see that optionally the career of Ursula von der Leyen will be cut short too. She might be the President of the European Commission for a month now, but I am certain that her history lessons included the time when we hung those who hid behind ‘befehl ist befehl‘ and even now, as we traverse that time, the US will not have any dimes to sit on, those spreading the US message without evidence could be demanded to be called on, even now as Germany (and India) are moving against the warnings of the US, warning that have never seen any real evidence since the beginning, will now have a coin marker, people like Ursula von der Leyen will see that as other European nations demand evidence, their place in the hierarchie will seem unholdable, held together by US promises that they will fall back on and fold on when the moment is nigh. That is the ball game for the US and the Europeans will not have alternatives, especially as Nokia is showing several cracks in their veneer, as their 5G outlook changes and as the backlash of bribery scandals, the US will find themself in a stage that is not holdable, and they are not alone, Ericsson is right there next to Nokia when it comes to scandals and the US was not ready for that. The impact will be larger than they expect and that part will bite too. When the EC members will look towards alternatives and there is only Huawei, they will shift gears and give the boot to whomever supported the US and stopped them to get their bonus, people are easy to anticipate in that regard.

If only there was direct evidence of the US claims. There was a reason why I used the Colin Powell and silver briefcase example in the past, there was no way around it, the game that was being played was short for whomever was counting the cards and too many were out in the open, the US had two plays left and they chose the wrong one. That becomes more and more clear when we look at the actions of Sony last October, that setting changed the anger levels of Third Point to some degree, and as I cannot tell who was right, the fact that Daniel Loeb lost out against the Sony view ”no concrete proposals to improve the business“, who is eagerly spending a billion to get on the market is a larger issue than you can imagine, the Japanese government has a larger stake in all this then even I can surmise. Japan will have to take on a few players and they are behind (really behind), yet they are all in it to win it and their ego’s will collide, the US will have to find new areas to push against and as we see that this is being fought, we also see the American dream is under pressure of failing and that is one concrete version why the american corporate views are not what they are surmised to be, it will be a stronger difference as the year progresses, but I reckon that half way, when that American super villain Taxman has to give documentation as to the values it holds dear (numbers on a spreadsheet) we will see additional cracks, there is only so much that people will live for and the US has no reserves, it lost those a little over three years ago as the debt kept rising. In this as we saw one month ago that “Dan Loeb sharply boosted its net long position in equities,’‘ we will see managed bad news over the next 6 months that will reduce that position (as I personally see and anticipate), that will be the first (of many) cracks in all this and China is not merely a crack in their armor, it is a flaming hole the size of the Grand Canyon. And still my IP is outlasting theirs as they have no idea what they should have been looking at, it is becoming more than a spreadsheet user versus a visionary, the US status is becoming a spreadsheet user to someone who does not comprehend a cross tabulation, and that is not a situation that the US can hold up. 

In this all these solutions give China an advantage, because as we see more and more dubious statements from people who caress the limelight, we also see that the chinks in their armour are lighting up and that is where Russia and China only have to ask: ‘what is that?‘ (pointing at the chinks) and those people will not have the setting to answer. 

It is a stage we have not seen before and will not see again any day soon, but in 2020 it will matter, it will drive the global population away from any American solution. They will only have themselves to blame soon enough, they vied for it but will do anything to make anyone else pay and the people are taking notice, they are no longer willing to take the idiocy and the current American administration made it happen, at least that part has no push towards previous administrations. When that happens, the loss of revenue will increase faster and faster and all others are ready to step in wherever they can, I am happy I have no stake in any of the American hedges, their national product is about to lose value and a lot, I merely wonder how long it will take, as we saw in several situations in 2008, the $1.1B bill to Moody’s was paid without hesitation, I wonder what and who will delay the news this time around and those who got out late, will they have any recourse? I reckon not, at some point we will see certain academics make a statement that the technology sector was too complex and too covariant to clearly see any pattern emerge, at that point whatever rating existed will be thrown out and as we see that, the people will run to any technology that has proven themselves and at present that is Huawei (and Huawei only), that is the part the US is unwilling to see, even as we see the Verge (only three weeks ago) give us both “T-Mobile has been saying it’s got a smarter, sounder 5G strategy than both Verizon and AT&T” and “They also won’t support 5G on other networks, so if you switch carriers, you’re hosed” implying that there is no real 5G standard in the US and they are all merely marketing 5G whilst not having any real 5G (my personal view) and the Verge supports that view I have (at https://www.theverge.com/2019/12/16/20997594/tmobile-5g-600mhz-low-band-speed-tests-oneplus-samsung) when we see “you’ll never get the speed thrill of downloading an entire movie from Netflix or Prime Video in seconds“, all whilst the 5G advertisement is about that part alone, we see the hose job in the making and in 2020 that will not be tolerated by the people, in the US there is no alternative, yet Europe, Africa and Asia have other options which enables Huawei and that is the short play that the US is not ready for and the EU people are about to get a dose of reality soon enough, when the MoU that Huawei has signed show actual progress, Europe will run towards whatever shelter they can whilst ignoring the pleas from the USA, it will be that simple, people like Ursula von der Leyen will run towards what pays them and what keeps them safe, warm and dry, they will soon see that ‘befehl ist befehl‘ fell short the second time around too and at that point they will enable whomever has the technology and America is about three years late.  

It is the biting reality that 2020 brings, whilst the vision of twenty twenty is negated at every turn whenever possible and it is the ‘whenever possible’ part that will fall short soon enough (sooner rather than later).

 

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